The City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority filed a lawsuit against the NFL, its 32 teams and 57 owners on Wednesday.
The suit alleges the NFL didn’t follow its own relocation guidelines and requirements, citing the 1984 NFL policy for relocations.
The policy calls on teams to "work carefully and in good faith to obtain and maintain suitable stadium facilities in their home territories, and to operate in a manner that maximizes fan support in their current home community."
The first page of the 52-page lawsuit reads,
“The Rams, the NFL, through its member teams, and the owners, have violated the obligations and standards governing team relocations by seeking and approving the relocation of the St. Louis Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles, California, despite the fact that the Rams failed to satisfy the obligations imposed by the League’s relocation rules and the fact that relocation was not supported by the required statement of reasons or the adopted relocation standards. In so doing, Defendants have breached their contractual duties owed to Plaintiffs. Defendants also have made intentionally false representations to Plaintiffs, have interfered with the valid business expectancies of Plaintiffs, and have unjustly enriched themselves. Defendants are responsible to pay damages to Plaintiffs and to make restitution of profits.”
It also says the City of St. Louis will have lost over $100 million in net proceeds from the move.
The lawsuit was filed by attorneys with St. Louis law firms Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch L.C. and Dowd Bennett LLP.
NFL owners agreed to let the Rams franchise move to Los Angeles in 2016.